• Safety Vests: High Visibility for Highlighting Safety


    Work Safety VestsSafety vests are the safety gear necessary to keep personnel visible to other people especially when working along roads. Federal agencies, such as the American National Standards Institute/International Safety Equipment Association (ANSI/ISEA) has time and again enacted requirements to promote high standards for protective clothing. The standards for safety vests are no different.

    One such standard is the ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 standard. This regulation is implemented in order to protect emergency responders by increasing their visibility to coworkers, as well as other individuals who are in their work area. It details basic requirements necessary for various safety features, such as design and high visibility.

    Design. Design features of safety vests include dimensions, color, and material capabilities. Velcro and zippers, for instance, are utilized to make wearing and taking off the safety vests quicker and more efficient. The standard also suggests identification colors for specific emergency personnel, namely Red for Fire, Blue for Police, and Green for EMS.

    Safety vests can also be designed with mesh to prevent them from becoming waterlogged, which is necessary during rainy weather and in wet environments. This feature prevents the vests from becoming heavy, thereby impeding movement. The mesh material allows for faster drying time and reduces the overall weight of the vest.

    High Visibility. Because safety vests are designed for the purpose of keeping the wearer clearly in view, they make use of colors that can always be seen and glows in the dark. For instance, fluorescent colors such as green, yellow and orange make it easier for workers to see and locate one another. The standard ensures that these colors are up to par for the work environments they are to be used in.

    Importance of High Visibility

    High visibility is a central feature of safety vests. Among the reasons are the following:

    • Safety. High-visibility safety vests are often the first, and sometimes the only thing keeping an employee visible in working conditions with less than optimal lighting. For example, drivers and equipment operators may not always have the time or opportunity to stop and check for other employees in the area. The high-visibility vest allows them to remain aware of personnel that may be in danger of being hit by vehicles or work equipment. As such, they are able to avoid the other workers, preventing accidents and potentially saving lives.
    • Identification. Safety vests help distinguish unauthorized individuals within a particular workplace.

      With the right safety vests, employees (and employers as well) are better protected against a number of hazards.

      For example,  pedestrians taking a short cut through a construction site can easily be identified and asked to leave for safety and security reasons. In the event of an emergency, safety vests make it easier for workers to be located as quickly as possible.

    • Directional Guidance. Sometimes, employees such as delivery truck drivers and construction crew workers are sent to work sites in areas they are unfamiliar with. This makes it difficult to locate the exact position of the work site, particularly if the site is an excavation they need to find early in the morning. High-visibility safety vests not only indicates where the construction site is, it can also provide a guide to the safest and shortest way to access the site.
    • Market Presence. High-visibility vests can come with logos printed on the back. These vests help individual crew members distinguish themselves from employees of other companies. In addition, these can help increase the public awareness of the company as well as their presence in the market.

    High-visibility safety vests often serve as a first line of defense against certain work hazards, allowing employees to carry out their duties safely. Federal standards are in place to ensure that safety gear uniforms are designed in the most optimal way to keep employees safe. In this way, accidents are significantly reduced, and workplace safety is effectively maintained.

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